Bringing the joy of natural hearing back to everyday life

How Smoking & Drinking May Affect Hearing

a brown-haired woman touching her ear

Smoking and drinking are notoriously bad for your health in general. After all, they both contain harmful chemicals and ingredients that aren’t necessarily right for your body to be inhaling or consuming. However, there’s more to these habits than just general health. Smoking and drinking can also affect your hearing health too. 

How smoking can cause hearing loss

Smoking is linked to hearing loss and as a result, those who smoke have a much higher risk of hearing loss than non-smokers. The more you smoke, the worse your hearing loss will get, so it’s not something that will simply go away or be bearable. Passive smokers may also be subjected to the risks that smoke brings and they too can be indirectly affected with hearing loss.

So how does smoking lead to hearing loss exactly? Well, it’s the nicotine. These chemicals damage your ears, and it restricts the blood flow, starving your cells of the oxygen that your inner ear needs. Without that oxygen, those delicate cells within the inner ear can die. That leads to hearing loss.

As a smoker, you’re also likely to be around people who smoke and so even if you’re not necessarily smoking at the same time, you’re getting everyone else’s second-hand smoke too.

How drinking can cause hearing loss

Just like smoking, alcohol in high levels of consumption can be bad for you. A big night out on a regular basis can really do damage, not only to your hearing but also to other vital organs in your body. Heavy or social drinkers are likely to damage their central auditory cortex found in the brain. 

This is the thing that’s responsible for interpreting the everyday sounds that your ears pick up around you. When those cells are damaged or destroyed, there’s no bringing them back. 

Alcohol consumption is very much a part of the lifestyle for many people around the world and so it’s only worrying that a lot of these places where alcohol is served, will also likely have loud music playing. Consider your go-to nightclub or bar on a night out, the music is louder than you’d play it in your home, right? Even though temporary hearing loss will disappear, there’s still long-lasting damage that can occur if you repeat it over and over again. 

With drinking, this temporary hearing loss that you might experience will eventually become permanent if you don’t make changes or precautions for your ears. The toxins in your blood can then lead to your inner ear cells becoming damaged and broken beyond repair. 

Tips for saving your hearing

So, with alcohol and smoking, there are ways to help protect and potentially save your hearing, as long as you’re making these changes immediately. It’s better to start as soon as possible before the damage is permanent. 

Cut out smoking and drinking or at least reduce your usage of both so that it’s at a healthier level. Continuous usage of either is going to eventually do damage to your health but it’s not something that can’t be enjoyed every so often.

It’s worth it to try and cut down as much as you can, rather than trying to go cold turkey. If you’re able to cut it out completely, then you may stand a good chance at having good hearing for a longer period of time. Hearing loss is something that can impact most of us because as we get older, hearing starts to deteriorate naturally.

The more you can do now, the better it will be for your life in the future and how much time you get to enjoy on this earth in general.

Seeking help for hearing loss

If you’ve found yourself experiencing a certain level of hearing loss that might be attributed to smoking or alcohol, then it’s important to try and make lifestyle changes where possible. You should also be aware of the Advanced Hearing Services that are available when it comes to seeking further help and guidance from audiologists. Call us today at 970-221-5249, you can get help when it comes to addressing any potential hearing loss and solutions that may be available to you.